JANUARY 11, 2021
At a WORK SESSION of the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown, County of Washington, in the State of Rhode Island held via video- and tele-conference, in and for said Town on the 11th day of January 2021 at 6:00 PM.
PRESENT: Abel G. Collins, President
Rory H. McEntee, Vice President
Deborah D. Bergner
Deborah J. Kelso
Jessica L. Rose
Amy Goins, Esquire, Assistant Town Solicitor gives a presentation relative to the Open Meetings Act, Procedural Best Practices and Ethical Considerations.
State Law sets minimum standards. The Open Meetings Act applies to all public bodies, defines a quorum, notice requirements, content of minutes, procedures for holding Closed Executive Sessions, adding items to the agenda for discussion purposes, penalties for violations. Remote meetings are allowed by the Governor’s Executive Order 2020-46 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The public must be able to hear the meeting, and participate where legally required.
Ms. Goins reviews Procedural Best Practices, including due process and Robert’s Rules of Order. Ethical considerations include nepotism and favoritism. The Code of Ethics establishes minimum standards as to when recusal is required to avoid an actual conflict of interest; a member can choose to recuse to avoid the appearance of impropriety. Financial disclosure reports are required of elected and some appointed officials and board members.
Councilwoman Bergner notes that the Council members are also members of the Democratic Town Committee, and asks if that creates any conflict. Discussion ensues. The Solicitor’s office will provide specific guidance on this matter to the Town Council members.
Council President Collins asks for guidance on using social media. The Assistant Town Solicitor advises members to keep their personal pages separate from their candidate or public pages. She cautions against commenting on Town business on social media. Discussion ensues relative to texting, and it is noted that correspondence of or to elected officials is not subject to disclosure, it’s an exemption but may have to be reviewed.
Discussion ensues relative to providing copies of boards and commissions applications to the Town Council prior to interviews.
The Town Council interviews Marc Levitt relative to his interest in serving on the Economic Development Committee.
Police Chief Joel Ewing-Chow reviews proposed changes to the Police Department Standing Orders relative to Use of Force: Lethal & Less Lethal Force that will be considered during this evening’s Public Hearing. The Town Manager notes that our local rules are harmonized with state and federal rules, accreditation standards and best practices. The Police Chief advises that they are now reporting uses of force to the FBI.
Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8B, a letter from William McCusker submitting his resignation from the Bike-Ped Committee.
Discussion ensues concerning Communication Item 8C from David Katz and Anna Gerber-Williams requesting a waiver of interest on a late tax payment.
Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8E concerning sidewalk snow removal. The Town will take a reasonable approach in enforcing its policy.
Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8J from Bob Mohr expressing interest in serving on the School Building Committee.
Discussion ensues relative to Communication Item 8K from Andrew Gilmartin concerning the Indoor Gun Range and the outdoor activities at the Peace Dale Shooting Preserve.
Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12A authorizing a tax abatement.
Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12B concerning legislation to rename the Worden’s Pond Landing as “Holley Landing”.
Discussion ensues relative to New Business Items 12C and D authorizing the purchase of police personnel safety equipment.
Discussion ensues relative to New Business Item 12E authorizing the reallocation of funds within the Parks and Recreation capital equipment replacement fund.
Convened to Regular Session.
Susan M. Flynn, CMC
JANUARY 11, 2021
At a REGULAR SESSION of the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown, County of Washington, in the State of Rhode Island, held via video- and tele-conference, in and for said Town on the 11th day of January 2021 at 7:30 PM.
PRESENT: Abel G. Collins, President
Rory H. McEntee, Vice President
Deborah D. Bergner
Deborah J. Kelso
Jessica L. Rose
The Pledge of Allegiance to the flag is given.
Roll Call is taken and all members are present.
Council President Collins reviews the access and call-in procedures for the public to view and/or participate in this evening’s virtual meeting.
A. Work Session: UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that the minutes of the Work Session held on December 14, 2020 are accepted, approved and placed on file.
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to approve the Consent Agenda as indicated by (CA) on same, with the exception of Communication Item 8G.
(CA) 6C. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Victualling and Holiday Sales Licenses to the following; Renewals.
A J and P, LLC d/b/a El Fuego Mexican Grill, 344 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Peter Watson, Member. License No. 59160.
Snug Harbor Marina, Inc. d/b/a Snug Harbor Marina, 410 Gooseberry Road, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Albert Conti, President. License No. 65839.
Starbucks Corporation d/b/a Starbucks Coffee #2798, 600 Kingstown Road, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Starbucks Corporation. License No. 59601.
(CA) 6D. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Victualling Licenses to the following; Renewals:
Benny’s Clam Shack, LLC d/b/a Benny’s Clam Shack, 58 High Street, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by David Thomas, Member. License No. 60742.
BOL Corporation d/b/a BOL, 318 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Alix Tillett, President. License No. 62432.
Cousins R.I. Bakery, LLC d/b/a Cousins Bakery, 100 Fortin Road, Kingston, RI 02881. Application by Lu-Anne Cox, Member. License No. 63878.
Isis Cakes, LLC d/b/a Isis Cakes, 221 Robinson Street, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Isis Brighton, Member. License No. 61756.
Ocean State Waves, Inc. d/b/a Ocean State Waves, P.O. Box 443, Wakefield, RI 02880. Application by Eric Hirschbein-Bodnar, President. License No. 64304.
Up Dog, LLC d/b/a Island Deli Sandwich Shop, 231 Old Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Michael Bucci, Member. License No. 61114.
(CA) 6E. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant a Holiday Sales License to Cardi’s Department Store, Inc., d/b/a Cardi’s Furniture Bedding Plus, 25 South County Commons Way, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Susan Halvarson, Licensing; Renewal. License No. 59110.
(CA) 6F. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant a Victualling License and Additional Hours between 2 AM and 4 AM to Alchihed Enterprises, Inc. d/b/a IZONE, 100 Fortin Road, Kingston, RI 02881. Application by Nidal Alchihed, President; Renewals. License No. 63430.
(CA) 6G. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant a Victualling License and Additional Hours between 2 AM and 6 AM to Kasbac, LLC d/b/a McDonald’s 140 Old Tower Hill Road, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Paul Ferren, Member; Renewals. License No. 60845.
(CA) 8A. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that resolutions adopted November 23, 2020 by the Cranston City Council in support of the State distributing CARES Act relief funding to local small businesses and placing a moratorium on evictions are received and placed on file.
(CA) 8D. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated December 14, 2020 from Lou Chrostowski concerning election of officers of the Town Council is received and placed on file.
(CA) 8F. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated December 21, 2020 from Jason Ralph concerning school enrollment issues is received and placed on file.
(CA) 8H. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated December 28, 2020 from John F. Woodard, Sr. concerning the State’s utilization of South Road School is received, placed on file and referred to the Town Manager.
(CA) 8I. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated December 28, 2020 from Jenifer Madison, Office Manager providing the Kingston Fire District’s FY2019-2020 Audited Financial Statement is received and placed on file.
(CA) 8L. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that any communication added to the Agenda subsequent to this is hereby added by majority vote, in accordance with RIGL §42-46-6 (b) Notice --… “Nothing contained herein shall prevent a public body, other than a school committee, from adding additional items to the agenda by majority vote of the members. Such additional items shall be for informational purposes only and may not be voted on except where necessary to address an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public or to refer the matter to an appropriate committee or to another body or official.”
(CA) 12A. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the Tax Assessor to abate taxes in the total amount of $2,754.09, as shown on Tax Abatement Request No. 578.
(CA) 12D. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize an award to Central Equipment, LLC, PO Box 781, Mattapoisett, MA 02739 for purchase of armor plate carriers and plates, in accordance with pricing per MASS COMM FIR04, in an amount not to exceed $8,575; as described in a memorandum from the Police Chief to the Town Manager dated December 24, 2020 and entitled “Award Recommendation – Active Shooter/Riot Protection Gear.”
(CA) 12M. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that any New Business added to the Agenda subsequent to this is hereby added by majority vote, in accordance with RIGL §42-46-6 (b) Notice --… “Nothing contained herein shall prevent a public body, other than a school committee, from adding additional items to the agenda by majority vote of the members. Such additional items shall be for informational purposes only and may not be voted on except where necessary to address an unexpected occurrence that requires immediate action to protect the public or to refer the matter to an appropriate committee or to another body or official.”
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant Victualling and Holiday Sales Licenses to Wakefield Nutrition LLC d/b/a Wakefield Nutrition, 359 Main Street, Wakefield, RI 02879. Application by Samantha Elliott, Member; New, continued from November 23 and December 14, 2020. License No. 68346.
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to grant a Miscellaneous Permit to conduct the Angry Unicorn Half Marathon/5K road race on Sunday, October 10, 2021 at 7:00 AM to Ocean State Multisport, 98 James Street, East Providence, RI 02914 subject to the execution of a hold harmless agreement indemnifying the Town, and issuance of a certificate of insurance naming the Town as an additional insured for the event in the amounts specified by the Finance Director. Proceeds to benefit the South Kingstown Senior Center and YMCA. Application by Gary Menissian, Race Director; Renewal, continued from December 14, 2020. License No. 68941.
A. Notice having been duly given, a Public Hearing is held relative to proposed amendments to Police Department Standing Orders relative to Use of Force: Lethal & Less Lethal Force, as shown on the Agenda as Exhibit 1.
Police Chief Joel Ewing-Chow reviews the amendments, including the addition of five definitions, moving the section on de-escalation, and notification. They are now reporting incidents of use of force to the FBI for their national database.
There are no public comments, and it is
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to close the Public Hearing.
Councilwoman Bergner suggests that in the future, local groups could be included for their input on recommendations for changes to the policies.
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to adopt amendments to Police Department Standing Orders relative to Use of Force: Lethal & Less Lethal Force, as follows:
South Kingstown Police Department
1790 Kingstown Rd., Wakefield, RI 02879
ORIGINAL ISSUE DATE
law enforcement operations:
USE OF FORCE
LETHAL & LESS LETHAL FORCE
12/14/14, 3/31/17, 7/22/19, 07/13/20, 1/11/21
1/25/10, 7/5/17, 7/22/19, 07/13/20, 1/11/21
RIPAC 2.9 - 2.23 & 7.5
The purpose of this policy is to provide police officers with guidelines on the use of force.
It is the policy of the South Kingstown Police Department to recognize and respect the value and special integrity of each human life. In vesting police officers with the lawful authority to use force to protect the public welfare, a careful balancing of all human interests is required.
Therefore, it is the policy of this department that police officers will use only that force that is objectively reasonable to accomplish lawful objective.
Administrative Review – A documented review of an incident or occurrence prepared by or for the Chief of Police or his/her designee. The review should indicate whether policy, training, equipment, or disciplinary issues should be addressed.
Analysis – A systematic, structured process for dissecting an event into its basic parts to identify any patterns or trends. Analysis should reveal patterns or trends that could be predictive or could indicate program effectiveness, training needs, equipment upgrade needs and/or policy modifications needs.
Appropriate Medical Aid – Aid that may include increased observation to detect obvious changes in condition, flushing chemical agents from the eyes, applying first aid, evaluation by rescue personnel, or for more serious or life threatening incidents, immediate aid by medical professionals.
Choke Hold – A physical maneuver applied to the neck that restricts an individual’s ability to breathe for the purpose of rendering the individual unconscious.
De-Escalation – Taking action and/or communicating verbally or non-verbally during a potential force encounter in an attempt to stabilize the situation and reduce the immediacy of the threat so that more time, options, and/or resources can be called upon to resolve the situation without the use of force or with a reduction of the force necessary. De-escalation may include the use of such techniques as command presence, advisements, warnings, verbal persuasion, and/or tactical repositioning.
Imminent Threat – Such an appearance of an impending threat as would cause a reasonable police officer to immediately act to stop the threat.
Less Lethal Force – Any use of force other than that which is considered lethal or deadly force.
Lethal Force – Any use of force that is likely to cause death or serious bodily injury. Lethal force is also referred to as deadly force.
Objectively Reasonable Force – That force that is necessary and appropriate when analyzed from the perspective of a reasonable officer possessing the same information and faced with the same circumstances as the officer who has actually used force; it is not judged with hindsight, and will take into account, where appropriate, the fact that officers must make rapid decisions regarding the level of force to use in tense, uncertain, and rapidly evolving situations. Important factors to be considered when deciding how much force can be used to apprehend or subdue a subject include, but are not limited to:
- the severity of the crime at issue;
- whether the subject poses an imminent threat to the safety of the officers or others; and
- whether the subject is actively resisting arrest or attempting to evade arrest by flight.
Reasonable Belief - Those facts and circumstances that would lead a normally prudent police officer to believe that his/her actions are necessary.
Serious Bodily Injury - Physical injury that (1) creates a substantial risk of death; (2) protracted loss or impairment of the function of any bodily part, member, or organ; or (3) causes serious permanent disfigurement.
Vascular Neck Restraint – A technique that can be used to incapacitate individuals by restricting the flow of blood to their brain.
A. General Requirements
a. When safe and appropriate under the totality of the circumstances:
1) Officers will assess the situation to determine if de-escalation is appropriate in order to reduce the potential need for force;
2) Officers shall use de-escalation techniques and other alternatives to higher levels of force consistent with his or her training and experience.
b. Whenever possible, and when such delay will not compromise the safety of the officer or another and will not result in the destruction of evidence, escape of a suspect, or commission of a crime, an officer shall allow an individual time and opportunity to submit to verbal commands before force is used.
2. Duty to intervene – All officers present and observing another officer using force that is clearly beyond that which is objectively reasonable under the circumstances, shall intercede to prevent the use of such force when in a position to do so safely. Officers shall report these observations to a non-involved supervisor without unnecessary delay.
3. Appropriate medical aid consistent with police officer training will be provided as soon as is practical in all lethal force and less lethal force option usage resulting in injury, or allegation of injury, to include injuries incurred during apprehension and/or custody.
4. Use of physical force shall be discontinued when resistance ceases or when the incident is under control.
5. Physical force shall not be used against individuals in restraints, except as objectively reasonable to prevent their escape or prevent imminent bodily injury to the individual, the officer, or another person.
6. A department authorized and certified weapons instructor or armorer shall perform and document an inspection of all weapons:
a. Prior to issuance to an individual officer or made available for shared department use; and
b. At the time of qualification or recertification of said weapon.
Documentation of inspection will be maintained by the department’s Range Supervisor and a copy forwarded to the Accreditation Manager.
7. The Range Supervisor will maintain an inventory of all department firearms and will be responsible for the issuance of all pistols. Patrol rifles and shotguns will be signed out through each shift OIC.
8. At least annually, the department shall ensure that each officer receives training on the department’s use of force policies, and document receipt of same.
All officers shall receive and sign for the receipt of the department’s Use of Force Policy and any revisions thereto in hard copy or digital format.
B. Parameters for use of Lethal Force
1. A police officer is authorized to use lethal force in order to:
a. Protect him/herself, another officer, or other person(s) when the officer has an objectively reasonable belief that an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury exists to himself/herself, another officer or other person.
b. To prevent the escape of a fleeing subject when the officer has probable cause to believe that the person has committed, or intends to commit, a felony involving serious bodily injury or death, and the officer reasonably believes that there is an imminent risk of serious bodily injury or death to the officer or another if the subject is not immediately apprehended.
2. Where feasible, police officers will identify themselves as a police officer and state their intent to use lethal force.
3. Lethal Force Restrictions: Lethal force should not be used against persons whose actions are clearly a threat only to themselves or property.
4. Police officers will adhere to the following restrictions:
a. Except for maintenance or during training, police officers will not draw or exhibit their firearm unless circumstances create reasonable cause to believe that it may be necessary to use the firearm in conformance with this policy.
b. Warning shots are prohibited.
5. Discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle shall be avoided. However, whenever a situation exists where an officer must consider discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle in order to stop an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to himself/herself or others, the use of lethal force by the officer must not constitute a greater hazard to the public than does the imminent threat, and must be the most reasonable course of action under the circumstances. Officers must weigh the need to use lethal force against the potential harm to innocent bystanders caused by such use.
6. Discharging a firearm at a moving vehicle shall be avoided unless a person in the vehicle poses an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to the officer or another person. Officers shall avoid intentionally placing themselves in a position where a vehicle may be used against them. Escape from the path of an oncoming vehicle should be considered prior to, or in lieu of, the implementation of lethal force whenever escape is possible. However, whenever a situation exists where an officer must consider discharging a firearm from a moving vehicle in order to stop an imminent threat of death or serious bodily injury to himself/herself or others, the use of lethal force by the officer must not constitute a greater hazard to the public than does the imminent threat, and must be the most reasonable course of action under the circumstances. Officers must weigh the need to use lethal force against the potential harm to innocent bystanders caused by such use.
7. In both sections 5 and 6 above, the officer’s focus will be to stop that person presenting the imminent threat, and not to disable the vehicle of which the suspect is an occupant. (This provision will not preclude tactical responses in a tactical operation.)
8. A police officer may also discharge a firearm to euthanize an animal that represents a threat to public safety, or as a humanitarian measure where the animal is seriously injured.
C. Parameters for Use of Less Lethal Force
1. Less Lethal Force Options:
The level of force used by an officer is directly related to the facts and circumstances encountered by that officer. Force options currently available to officers include, but are not limited to:
Command Presence - An officer’s appearance, which may be enough to dissuade some persons from engaging in resistive behavior.
Verbal Commands - Dialogue used by an officer, which can serve to diffuse potentially violent situations.
Physical Skills - Physical techniques used by an officer to control potentially violent situations.
Chemical Spray - Used in compliance with Standing Order 410.02 entitled “Oleoresin Capsicum (OC) Spray”.
Impact Tools – Striking tools used in compliance with Standing Order 410.03 entitled “Police Baton”.
Conducted Electrical Weapons (CEW) - Used in compliance with Standing Order 410.04 entitled “Conducted Electrical Weapon (CEW/Taser)”.
Police Canine – Used in compliance with Operational Policy 430.11 entitle “Patrol Canine Team”.
2. Police officers are authorized to use department-approved less lethal force options to accomplish lawful objectives, as follows:
a. To protect themselves or another from physical harm.
b. To restrain or subdue a resistant individual.
c. To bring an unlawful situation safely and effectively under control.
d. To maintain control of a person or situation.
3. It is not the intent of this policy to direct officers to try each of the force options before moving to another. Officers may employ that force option which they believe is objectively reasonable to accomplish lawful objectives.
4. Choke holds and vascular neck restraints are prohibited unless lethal force is authorized.
5. It is understood that when requesting mutual aid assistance, the available force options of the responding agency may differ from those of the requesting agency. Officers shall be subject to the policies and procedures of their employing agencies at all times.
6. Authorized less lethal options are those with which the police officer has received department approved training on proper and safe usage.
7. Nothing contained in this section limits an officer’s ability to use those means objectively reasonable for self-defense, or to accomplish lawful objectives, including but not limited to items of opportunity.
D. Training and Qualifications Regarding Lethal Force – Firearms
1. While on duty, police officers will carry and use only firearms and ammunition authorized by and documented with the department’s Range Supervisor.
2. At least annually and in accordance with Rhode Island General Laws, the department shall conduct training and qualifications for all department authorized duty firearms to include specialized firearms. This training will be graded and documented on a pass/fail basis by a certified firearms instructor. Through this training, officers must attain and demonstrate knowledge of the laws concerning the use of authorized weapons and knowledge of agency policy on the use of force, escalating force and deadly force.
3. Authorized firearms are those with which the police officer has qualified and received departmental training on proper and safe usage, and that are documented, and comply with departmental specifications. (See SKPD Standing Order 410.05 Weapons: Caliber, Ammunition & Safety.)
4. The department shall have a separate policy addressing the authorization of duty, off-duty and specialized firearms, weapons, and ammunition.
5. Unsafe or defective department-issued firearms shall be replaced or repaired. Any officer who believes his or her department issued firearm to be unsafe or defective shall immediately notify his or her supervisor or the Range Supervisor. The firearm will be taken out of service until properly inspected by a certified armorer or the manufacturer, and a spare will be issued by the Range Supervisor.
6. All recent hires of the department shall be qualified by the hiring agencies certified firearms instructor using that agency’s POST certified qualification course. This qualification shall take place prior to the officer carrying their department authorized duty firearms in any official capacity.
7. Police officers who are unable to qualify with their duty firearm(s), in accordance with department testing procedures will be given remedial training by the department’s authorized certified firearms instructor.
a. Upon successful completion of this training, the officer will be retested.
b. If after a second attempt the officer does not qualify, a report will be forwarded to the Chief of Police by the department’s authorized and certified firearms instructor.
c. The Chief of Police will then take such action as he/she deems necessary and not inconsistent with this policy.
8. A police officer will not be authorized to carry or use any duty firearm which he/she has not been able to qualify with during the department’s most recent qualification period.
9. A police officer who has suffered an illness, injury or absence that could affect his/her ability to use a department authorized firearm will be required to requalify before returning to enforcement duties.
10. Officers who carry personally owned firearms and ammunition off-duty must have said firearms and ammunition authorized by the department and, at least annually, demonstrate proficiency and safe handling techniques to a department certified firearms instructor.
11. On an annual basis, and in accordance with RIGL §11-47-15.3, the Chief of Police, or designee, will submit to the Rhode Island POST a proposal for the training and qualification of sworn officers on all firearms they are authorized to carry or use in the performance of their official duties. A copy of the approval (or denial) of this proposal will be kept in the Training Office.
12. Officers will receive instruction on the use of and be issued any policy concerning an authorized weapon prior to the issuance of the weapon. Recruits entering the RI Municipal Police Academy may be issued weapons prior to instruction in the academy, but are not authorized to use said weapons unless with academy staff/instructors or until graduation from the academy. Both instruction and issuance of the policy, as well as subsequent policy revisions, will be documented.
E. Training and Qualifications Regarding Less Lethal Force
1. At least biennially, each sworn officer is required to demonstrate proficiency with department approved less lethal force options, which he/she is authorized to use. CEW training/recertification will be conducted annually. Proficiency standards are established as follows:
a. Attainment of minimum qualification requirements in accordance with performance standards as determined by current training doctrine, methods, or trends;
b. Proper demonstration of recognized physical skills; and
c. Demonstrated knowledge of department policies pertaining to the use of less lethal force options.
2. The program of instruction will be conducted by a qualified instructor who has achieved and maintained certification in the respective less lethal force options(s).
3. The Training Officer will maintain training documentation to include lesson plans, attendance sheets, and proficiency records.
4. Proficiency standards shall be satisfied prior to an officer being authorized to carry and/or utilize the less lethal force option(s).
5. Police officers who are unable to show proficiency with a less lethal force option in accordance with department testing procedures will be given remedial training by the department’s less lethal force training instructor.
a. Upon successful completion of this training, the officer will be retested.
b. If after a second attempt the officer does not evidence proficiency, a report will be forwarded to the Chief of Police by the department’s less lethal force training instructor.
c. The Chief of Police will then take such action as he/she deems necessary and not inconsistent with this policy.
F. Reporting Uses of Force
1. A reportable use of force is defined as any incident in which a sworn department member exercises his/her police powers and uses a force option except for those actions set forth in Subsection 3 below.
2. Reportable uses of force also include:
a. Drawing and pointing a firearm or CEW at a person for the purpose of obtaining and/or maintaining control of that person.
b. Taking an action that results in, or is alleged to have resulted in, either injury to or the death of another person.
3. Exceptions to reportable force:
a. command presence;
b. verbal commands;
c. physical skills which do not result in injury, the appearance of injury or complaint of pain, (ex. Soft empty-hand control techniques);
d. compliance handcuffing which does not result in injury, the appearance of injury, or the complaint of pain.
4. Officers will notify a supervisor who is not involved in the incident without unnecessary delay and in accordance with department policy whenever a reportable use of force incident occurs either on-duty or off-duty.
5. An officer who has used force shall articulate in writing the force used and the facts, circumstances, and reasons for the use of said force.
6. All reportable uses of force resulting in death, serious bodily injury, or allegations of serious bodily injury shall be investigated by trained personnel.
All other reportable uses of force shall undergo a documented initial review by the officer’s immediate supervisor. Said documentation shall be forwarded through the chain of command for administrative review and to determine whether further action, including but not limited to follow-up investigation is necessary.
7. Where officers respond to an incident involving a reportable use of force, a “use of force” form must be completed for that incident setting forth the specific use of force actions taken by each officer. Each officer who uses reportable force must complete a ‘use of force’ form. These forms will be submitted to the Captain of Professional Standards through the chain of command.
8. In lieu of a ‘use of force’ form, an officer shall be required to prepare a written report in accordance with departmental procedures whenever any of the following actions have occurred:
a. The officer discharges a firearm under circumstances that are not otherwise classified as a reportable use of force, except for those times when said discharge occurs either during a weapons training or during lawful recreational activities where no report is necessary.
b. The officer discharges a firearm to euthanize an animal, as set forth in Section IV (B)(8) of this policy.
G. Departmental Response
1. Use of Force resulting in death or serious bodily injury:
a. In accordance with the Rhode Island Attorney General’s Protocols, all police incidents involving the use of deadly force, excessive force and custodial deaths will be reported to the Attorney General’s office for review.
b. Where a police officer's use of force causes death or serious bodily injury, the officer will be placed on a non-punitive administrative leave pending completion of an administrative review, and until a post-incident evaluation is conducted by a licensed mental health professional preferably experienced in working with law enforcement personnel.
c. The department will conduct both an administrative and criminal investigation of the incident.
2. Allegations of excessive use of force shall be reported by memo to the Captain of Operations.
3. FBI’s CJIS National Use of Force Data Collection*
a. Any use of force meeting the following criteria shall be reported to the CJIS database:
1) Force resulting in death or serious bodily injury to a person; or
2) Where an officer discharges a firearm at or in the direction of a person.
3) Where in a given month there are no use of force incidents meeting this criteria, the department shall make a report of “0” incidents in the CJIS database.
*Use for Force Reporting only applies to law enforcement agencies with valid UCR reporting capabilities.
4. Administrative review of use of force incidents:
a. All reported uses of force will be reviewed by the shift OIC to determine whether:
1) Departmental rules, policy, or procedures were violated.
2) The relevant policy was clearly understandable and effective to cover the situation.
3) If department training is currently adequate.
4) If department equipment needs to be addressed
b. Each review will be documented and the reports will be forwarded to and retained by the Captain of Professional Standards.
c. All findings of policy violations or training inadequacies shall be reported to the appropriate unit for resolution and/or discipline.
5. All Use of Force reports will be retained as required by department policy. There will be a documented annual analysis of those reports required under Section IV (F), (2) and (3) of this policy by the Professional Standards Division.
6. The analysis shall, at a minimum, identify the following:
a. Date and time of incidents;
b. Types of encounters resulting in use of force;
c. Trends or patterns related to race, age and gender;
d. Trends or patterns resulting in injury to any person; and
e. Impact of findings on policies, practices, equipment, and training
7. Each calendar year an annual summary report of this analysis will be made available to the public.
By Order of:
Joel J. Ewing-Chow
Chief of Police
State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
Peter F. Neronha, Attorney General
THE ATTORNEY GENERAL'S PROTOCOL FOR THE REVIEW OF
INCIDENTS INVOLVING THE USE OF DEADLY FORCE, EXCESSIVE
FORCE AND CUSTODIAL DEATHS
June 17, 2020
It has been the long-standing practice in this State that when a police officer uses deadly force, or where there has been a custodial death, the law enforcement agency reports the incident to the Office of the Attorney General for review and joint investigation. This Protocol updates and expands upon the Attorney General's Protocol Regarding The Review Of Incidents Involving The Use of Deadly Force and Custodial Death (last revised in 2007). It is designed to promote greater uniformity, accountability and impartiality in the investigation of police use-of-force incidents where deadly force was employed, where there has been an allegation of excessive use of force by police, and where a custodial death occurs. It is applicable to all Rhode Island state and municipal law enforcement agencies. For convenience, the terms "police officer" and "police department" are used in this Protocol.
A police officer's use of deadly force, alleged use of excessive force and the death of a person in police custody are some of the most sensitive matters that law enforcement agencies investigate. These investigations frequently pose complex factual and legal issues and are closely followed by the public we serve. It is critical that the public have confidence that when police use force, and deadly force in particular, that that use of force was reasonable and lawful. This Protocol sets forth the policies and practices of the Office of the Attorney General for the investigation of deadly force and custodial death incidents and for the investigation of allegations of the use of excessive force. It also provides guidance on potential Garrity issues.
USE OF THE PROTOCOL
The Protocol shall be followed whenever:
A police officer uses deadly force, whether or not death or injury of any person results.
A person dies while in police custody or dies during the apprehension or attempted apprehension of a person.
A police officer uses less than deadly force that results in serious bodily injury to any person.'
A police department receives a complaint alleging that a police officer used excessive force during his/her interaction with a person, and there is evidence, including but not limited to video or other electronic evidence, to warrant additional investigation.
This Protocol may also be followed:
Whenever a person dies or is injured as a result of a police interaction even if the police did not intentionally use force or deadly force. For example, motor vehicle accidents involving the police where there is a fatality or serious injury.
In any situation, not explicitly addressed above, where the police department and the Attorney General jointly agree that review by the Attorney General would be in the public interest.
OBLIGATIONS OF THE EMPLOYING POLICE DEPARTMENT
The police department employing the police officer whose action prompts the application of this Protocol ("Employing Police Department") shall immediately notify the Office of the Attorney General (after hours, an Assistant Attorney General may be reached through the Bureau of Criminal Identification at 401-732-7629) and, in situations involving the use of deadly force or a custodial death, the Rhode Island State Police (401-444-1000). Where the action of a member of the Rhode Island State Police prompts the application of this Protocol, notification shall include the police department of the city or town where the action occurred.
The Employing Police Department shall limit the investigative steps taken prior to assembly of the multi-agency investigative team (see "Investigative Team" section below) to those measures necessary to secure the scene, preserve evidence, identify witnesses, and any other measures necessary to address exigent circumstances.
The Employing Police Department shall immediately collect, preserve, and turn over to the multi-agency investigative team all video and audio recordings that pertain to the incident in question. Any public release of video and audio recordings in the possession of law enforcement shall be done in accordance with the law and in a manner that preserves the integrity of the criminal investigation, protects the rights of the accused, and respects the privacy of civilians captured on the recording. Absent extraordinary circumstances, video and audio recordings should not be released until all witness statements have been collected and the criminal investigation has concluded.
The Chief of Police of the Employing Police Department, or, where the matter involves the conduct of a member of the Rhode Island State Police, the Colonel of the State Police, shall serve as the primary point of contact for media inquiries, coordinating all responses with the Attorney General and other members of the multi-agency investigative team. The Chief of Police, or, where applicable, the Colonel of the State Police, may also refer such inquiries to the Attorney General.
ROLE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
The Attorney General shall assign a senior prosecutor (or prosecutors) to work with and provide legal advice to investigators throughout the course of the investigation.
As a general rule, the Attorney General will present every police-involved use of force incident resulting in death or serious bodily injury to a grand jury for its review and consideration.
Incidents involving use of force that did not result in death or serious bodily injury and where the undisputed facts indicate that the use of force was objectively reasonable under the law may be concluded without a formal grand jury presentation.
The Attorney General may, however, present any matter to a grand jury where doing so is necessary to obtain evidence, develop the testimony of witnesses, and otherwise conduct a full and complete investigation.
Matters Involving the Use of Deadly Force and Custodial Death
Where a police officer uses deadly force, regardless of whether death or injury results, or where a person dies in police custody or during apprehension or attempted apprehension by police, the investigative team will be comprised of members of the Attorney General's Office, the Rhode Island State Police and the Employing Police Department.
Where a member of the Rhode Island State Police uses deadly force, regardless of whether death or injury results, or where a person dies in State Police custody or during apprehension or attempted apprehension by the State Police, the investigative team will be comprised of the Attorney General's Office, the Rhode Island State Police, and the municipal police department of the city or town where the incident occurred.
The investigative team will respond to the scene immediately after notification of the incident initiating application of this Protocol.
Matters Involving Less than Deadly Force and Allegations of Excessive Use of Force
Whenever a police officer uses less than deadly force that results in serious bodily injury to a person, or is alleged to have used excessive force and the evidence supporting such allegation, including but not limited to video or other electronic evidence is sufficient to warrant additional investigation, the Employing Police Department shall:
· Promptly notify the Attorney General; and
· Provide the Office of the Attorney General with copies of all non-compelled statements and any other evidence pertaining to the matter.
The Attorney General and the Employing Police Department will jointly review the evidence pertaining to the matter and pursue any follow up investigation as necessary. It is strongly preferable that members of the Employing Police Department's Professional Standards Unit or equivalent be assigned to the investigation.
The Attorney General will determine whether criminal charges are appropriate, and, if charges are appropriate, the nature of such charges, including whether the appropriate charge or charges constitute a misdemeanor or felony or both. The Attorney General will determine whether presentation to a grand jury is necessary to obtain additional evidence or develop the testimony of witnesses.
Pursuant to the United States Supreme Court's decision in Garrity v. New Jersey, 385 -U.S. 493 (1967), when a police officer is compelled by a supervisor to make a statement in the course of an administrative or internal investigation or face termination, such statement and any evidence derived from that statement cannot be used in any subsequent criminal investigation or prosecution of that officer.
If a police officer agrees to provide a voluntary statement, the officer's statement may be shared with all investigators and prosecutors assigned to the matter.
If an officer is not willing to provide a voluntary statement, the investigative team, in consultation with the Attorney General, must determine whether a statement should be compelled by a supervisor. If the decision is to compel a statement, under Garrity, his or her statement and evidence derived from that statement cannot be used in any subsequent prosecution. Accordingly, under these circumstances, the investigative and prosecution team must be divided into two groups. The first group will be allowed access to the compelled statement and any evidence obtained as a result. The second group must be walled off from the contents of any compelled statement and the evidence derived from such statement.
The first group will be assigned to investigate any administrative and departmental violations allegedly committed by the police officer providing the compelled statement. They may also participate in the criminal investigation and/or prosecution of any other individual, including a police officer, whose statement was not compelled.
The second group will be assigned to pursue the criminal investigation and/or prosecution of any officer whose statement was compelled.
PETER F. NERONHA
B. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated December 4, 2020 from William McCusker tendering his resignation from the Bicycle – Pedestrian Advisory Committee is received, placed on file, and the Town Council directs that a letter of thanks be sent.
C. Discussion ensues relative to a request for a waiver of interest on a late property tax payment. The Town Manager reviews the Town’s collection policy, state regulations, and changes that have been made due to the pandemic. The Finance Director discusses the notice provided to property owners, and it is
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a letter dated December 10, 2020 from David Katz and Anna Gerber-Williams requesting a waiver of interest on a late property tax payment is received, placed on file, and referred to the Town Manager for denial of the request.
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated December 21, 2020 from Kateri Collins, and emails dated January 6, 2020 from Paula Testa and Brian D. Hubert concerning sidewalk snow removal are received and placed on file.
G. Discussion ensues relative to a letter concerning potential impacts that expanding the Curtis Corner Middle School could have on Town recreational facilities. One reason for moving the high school to CCMS is for proximity to recreational fields. The effects are yet to be determined. Facilities will not be diminished, some may be relocated, there may be some impact on the disc golf course, but public use will be preserved.
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a letter dated December 23, 2020 from Joan C. Hudson concerning potential impacts to the park area if school facilities are expanded at Curtis Corner Middle School is received, placed on file and the Town Council directs that it be forwarded to the School Building Committee for their consideration.
J. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that an email dated December 29, 2020 from Bob Mohr expressing his interest in serving on the School Building Committee is received, placed on file, and referred to the Town Manager for placement on a future Agenda to discuss the makeup of that committee.
K. Discussion ensues relative to letters from Andrew Gilmartin concerning the shooting range operations. The Assistant Town Solicitor notes that the property is in an R40 zone, and clay shooting is allowed as a non-conforming use and is grandfathered on that property. Their office has asked to discuss the intensification of use, and possible application for a Special Use Permit which would allow the Town to set limitations on the operations.
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: that a letter from Andrew Gilmartin dated December 21, 2020 concerning zoning regulations for the Indoor Gun Range, and a letter dated January 2, 2021 requesting closure of the outdoor activities at the Peace Dale Shooting Preserve are received, placed on file, and referred to the Town Solicitor’s Office.
Council President Collins invites residents to come forward with comments.
Andrew Gilmartin is present and comments that his complaint concerns noise from the outdoor shooting activities, and he appreciates the Town’s discussions with the owner.
Ilana Shemkovich is present and comments on having conversations regarding the Use of Force Policy with the public and interested groups.
Councilwoman Bergner inquires about adding topics to the Work Session with the Planning Board, and the availability of a paper copy of the school facilities plan.
The Town Manager reviews the Town Council’s upcoming schedule of meetings.
Brian Wagner, Senior Planner discusses the State’s Take It Outside Grant Program. Seven businesses submitted proposals. In the first round the Town received $50,000 to be distributed. In the second round a few more businesses applied, and the Town received $25,000. With remaining funds, two 20’x20’ frame tents with heaters have been acquired for Town use, they can be made available to local businesses as a temporary loan. The Town Manager notes that $56,000 was also received for the school department, and another entity received a separate grant.
The Town Manager reviews the status of Town Farm Park. We need improved property appraisals for the National Park Service. Speed feedback signs have been installed on Middlebridge Road, and an analysis of accident data for the last 5 years has been completed and will be provided to the Town Council at their next meeting. The Town Manager’s Interim Reports dated December 17, December 23 and December 30, 2020, and the Miscellaneous Report dated January 7, 2021 are accepted, approved and placed on file.
Discussion ensues relative to providing copies of applications to the Council, and it is
VOTED: to appoint Marc Levitt to the Economic Development Committee for a term to expire in March 2023.
Councilwoman Bergner voted against.
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to appoint William C. Wallace as the Tree Warden for the Town of South Kingstown for the year 2021.
B. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to request the General Assembly to enact legislation contained in Senate Bill 2020 S2343 to rename the Worden's Pond Landing "Holley Landing" in honor of the Holley family that donated the land to the State of RI in 1953.
C. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize an award to Atlantic Tactical, Inc., 763 Corporate Circle, New Cumberland, PA 17070 for purchase of ballistic helmets, face shields, riot shields, and ancillary supplies, in accordance with pricing per MASS COMM FIR04, in an amount not to exceed $16,293; as described in a memorandum from the Police Chief to the Town Manager dated December 24, 2020 and entitled “Award Recommendation – Active Shooter/Riot Protection Gear.”
E. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the reallocation of $12,000 within the Parks and Recreation capital equipment replacement fund 408, project #20011, towards the purchase of a stake body pick-up truck as a replacement vehicle for a 2016 stake body Chevrolet Silverado; and as further described in a memorandum from the Leisure Services Director to the Town Manager dated December 8, 2020 and entitled “Reallocation of CIP Funds for Replacement Truck.”
F. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize an award of bid to Gametime Sports Construction, LLC, 170 Dorset Lane, Madison, CT for the purchase and installation of a new backstop safety net system at Old Mountain Field Baseball, in accordance with all bid specifications, in an amount not to exceed $57,800; and as further described in a memorandum from the Park Superintendent to the Town Manager dated January 7, 2021 and entitled “Bid Recommendation – Baseball Safety Net System.”
G. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the Town Manager to initiate negotiations with Cornerstone Adult Day Services, Inc., 2364 Post Road, Suite 100, Warwick, RI 02886 for provision of an Adult Day Services Program to be located in the Town-owned facility at 283 Post Road, Wakefield; and as further described in a memorandum from the Director of Senior Services to the Town Manager dated December 1, 2020 and entitled “Proposal Recommendation – Adult Day Services Program Provider.”
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize an award of contract to Vision Government Solutions, 1 Cabot Road, Hudson, MA 01749 for the development and implementation of a Full Revaluation Program in an amount not to exceed $470,000, including a $10,000 contingency; and as further described in a memorandum from the Town Assessor to the Town Manager dated January 5, 2021 and entitled “Award of Contract – Development and Implementation of Full Revaluation Program.”
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to authorize the Town Manager to execute individual Payment in Lieu of Tax (PILOT) Agreements for FY 2020-2021 with The South Kingstown Land Trust, The Jewish Children’s Home of Rhode Island (Camp JORI), Welcome House of South County, and Tri-County Community Action Agency (Tri-County) in accordance with the Town Code, Chapter 17 Taxation, Article IV. Property Tax Exemptions and Payment in Lieu of Tax Agreements for Charitable Organizations, Section 17-45. Authorization; and to affirm the policy guidelines described in a memorandum from the Town Manager to the Town Council dated January 6, 2021 and entitled “Ratification and Approval of PILOT Agreements.”
J. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to extend the Town’s Declaration of Emergency adopted at an Emergency Session on March 15, 2020 and subsequently renewed on April 13, 2020, May 11, 2020, June 8, 2020, July 13, 2020, August 11, 2020, September 14, 2020, October 13, 2020, November 9, 2020 and December 14, 2020, as follows:
Town of South Kingstown
Renewed Declaration of Emergency
On March 15, 2020, pursuant to Sec. 3214 of the South Kingstown Home Rule Charter, the Town Council declared the existence of an emergency. The basis for the Council’s emergency declaration was the danger to health and life posed by the novel coronavirus known as COVID-19, as set forth in Governor Gina Raimondo’s Executive Order 20-02 dated March 9, 2020 declaring a state of emergency, and Executive Order 20-03 dated March 13, 2020 containing a supplemental emergency declaration. Governor Raimondo extended the state of emergency as set forth in Executive Order 20-23 on April 10, 2020, and it was further extended on May 7, June 4, July 3, July 31, September 2, October 2, November 2, December 2, 2020 and December 22, 2020. The Town Council voted to extend the date of the local emergency declaration on April 13, 2020, and it was further extended on May 11, June 8, July 13, August 11, September 14, October 13, November 9, and December 14, 2020.
Since the Council’s declaration of emergency, Governor Raimondo has issued 110 further supplemental emergency declarations (as of January 6, 2021) relating to the COVID-19 pandemic, and circumstances have continued to be dire both locally, statewide, and nationwide. On December 22, 2020, Governor Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-109 further extending the state of emergency to January 20, 2021. Therefore, the Town Council deems it prudent to declare that a state of emergency continues to exist in Town, and hereby extends the end date of its emergency declaration from January 11, 2021 to January 25, 2021. The substance of the Council’s declaration of emergency remains in full force and effect, except to the extent that it has been superseded by an Executive Order of the Governor of the State of Rhode Island.
The Council hereby delegates the authority to the Town Manager to take any and all actions deemed necessary to address the ongoing emergency. The Town Manager shall report actions taken pursuant to this emergency declaration to the Council and to the public as soon as practicable, including ongoing updates on the Town’s website.
This Ordinance shall take effect immediately and remain in full force and effect until January 25, 2021 unless renewed, modified, or terminated by a subsequent ordinance. Provided, however, that if the statewide state of emergency is not extended by executive order of Governor Gina Raimondo on or before January 20, 2021, this Ordinance shall expire on that date.
K. UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to adopt Executive Order 2020-09 (Eighth Amendment) relative to gathering limitations and travel restrictions, as follows:
Emergency Management Director
Executive Order 2020-09 (Eighth Amendment)
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the State of Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-03 declaring a state of emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19; and the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown declared a state of emergency through an emergency ordinance enacted on March 15, 2020, and extended through January 25, 2021 to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, social distancing is the most effective and important tool available to combat the spread of the pandemic;
NOW THEREFORE, the following emergency measures are hereby enacted:
The South Kingstown Police Department is authorized to enforce these regulations in accordance with state directives and the Emergency Management statute.
To the extent that any provision in this order is inconsistent with any executive order issued by the Governor of the State of Rhode Island for dealing with COVID-19, the executive order of the Governor shall supersede this order and govern in its stead.
This executive order 2020-09 shall remain in effect until January 25, 2021 or the expiration of the State declaration of emergency, whichever is sooner. This executive order 2020-09 may be further extended if necessary by a subsequent executive order.
Emergency Management Director
Executive Order 2020-14
WHEREAS, on March 9, 2020, the State of Rhode Island Governor Gina M. Raimondo issued Executive Order 20-03 declaring a state of emergency due to the outbreak of COVID-19; and the Town Council of the Town of South Kingstown declared a state of emergency through an emergency ordinance enacted on March 15, 2020 to deal with the COVID-19 pandemic; and
WHEREAS, the Federal Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), enacted in March 2020, required certain employers, including the Town of South Kingstown, to provide their employees with paid sick leave benefits for specified reasons related to COVID-19; and
WHEREAS, the FFCRA benefits were available between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020; and
WHEREAS, the FFCRA benefits were not extended as part of the recent Federal coronavirus relief and spending package; and
WHEREAS, the Town recognizes significant local impacts related to COVID-19 will continue to exist after December 31, 2020; and
WHEREAS, the Town recognizes that quarantine and isolation are critical and effective methods to combat the spread of COVID-19 within our community and within our workforce;
NOW THEREFORE, the following emergency measures are hereby enacted:
5. Beginning January 1, 2021, the Town of South Kingstown will provide COVID-19 related Administrative Leave to its Full Time and Part Time employees.
6. Said COVID-19 Administrative Leave will be provided to employees who are unable to work, or unable to telework, due to the following reasons:
a. The employee is subject to Federal, State, or local quarantine or isolation order related to COVID-19;
b. The employee has been advised by a health care provider to self-quarantine related to COVID-19; or
c. The employee is experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and is seeking a medical diagnosis
7. Said COVID-19 Administrative Leave is available for up to two weeks of the employee’s regular schedule, and will mirror the FFCRA Sick Leave benefits the Town provided employees between April 1 and December 31, 2020.
8. Said COVID-19 Administrative Leave, when combined with FFCRA Sick Leave benefits previously used, shall not exceed two weeks of an employee’s regular schedule.
a. If an employee has previously exhausted the two weeks of FFCRA Sick Leave benefits, the employee will not be eligible for COVID-19 Administrative Leave.
b. If an employee has previously exhausted a portion of the two weeks of FFCRA Sick Leave benefits, the employee will only be eligible for COVID-19 Administrative Leave for the difference.
This executive order 2020-14 shall remain in effect until March 31, 2021 or the expiration of the State declaration of emergency, whichever is sooner. This executive order 2020-14 may be further extended if necessary by a subsequent executive order.
Issued December 31, 2020.
UNANIMOUSLY VOTED: to adjourn at 9:22 PM.
Susan M. Flynn, CMC